Bills take Utah safety Cole Bishop with pick No. 60 in NFL draft


Staff member

One of the newest Bills will encounter a familiar face in Buffalo.

Cole Bishop, a safety out of Utah, will reunite with former Ute and current Bills tight end Dalton Kincaid. On Friday, the Bills selected Bishop (6-2, 206) with their second pick in the second round, the 60th overall selection.

A Senior Bowl participant, Bishop will be in the mix in a Buffalo secondary that has seen major turnover this offseason. The team moved on from starting safety Jordan Poyer, and fellow starter Micah Hyde has yet to decide on his future.

Bishop has yet to learn exactly what his role will be in Buffalo, but he finds his versality to be a strength, and that’s something the Bills value as well. It came up in Bishop’s meetings with the Bills.

“You know in those Zooms and everything, there is times you’ll be shown some of your plays and you’ll have to draw some stuff up,” Bishop said. “It’s nice being able to have a lot of different things on film, so you’re able to show me certain times playing free or strong or in the box. It was a big focus point I would say.”

General Manager Brandon Beane said the Bills were seeing if they could move up to take Bishop, as Beane and scouts all loved him. Instead, Beane felt the Bills got lucky that no one took his call.

“I think it was more dramatic, just because of the countdown,” Beane said. “Everyone in the room can kind of hear myself, (director of player personnel) Terrance Gray, (assistant general manager) Brian Gaine making the calls, writing down, them, telling me who’s interested.”

But the other teams went in different directions, and the Bills found a safety who Beane thinks fits their system.

“In a perfect world you’d like your safeties in this system to be interchangeable. ... And Cole, I would say, fits it to a tee,” Beane said. “Good blitzer, super smart. Didn’t have a great amount of ball production but we think in our system, he’s got ball skills, you see him make plays. We think that’ll improve, really good blitzer and just an instinctive football player.”

Bishop was born in Massachusetts but grew up in Georgia.

At Utah, he played in 35 career games, starting 29, across three seasons. In 2023, Bishop led the Utes’ secondary with 60 tackles, and the year before, he posted a team-leading 83 tackles. Bishop finished his college career with 197 total tackles, 21.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks. On top of that, he tallied three interceptions and 14 passes defensed.

“At Utah this past year, I was playing some free, some strong, I was in the box. Out, overhangs the nickel at times, so being able to do a lot, I think I can do a lot of those different things well, you know, covering tight ends,” Bishop said. “Being able to cover Dalton Kincaid every day my first two years definitely helps you get better at covering tight ends, as he’s one of the better route runners out there, so he was super helpful in my growth.”

Bishop said he’s talked with Kincaid frequently, but his phone was so abuzz on Friday that Bishop wasn’t sure what Kincaid’s message had been after he was drafted. Still, Bishop has heard plenty about the organization and the surrounding area from Kincaid.

“He loves it out there,” Bishop said. “Fan base is awesome. Obviously, you know, Bills Mafia is something unlike any other. Shoot, I mean, he has nothing but good things to say, so as soon as I saw that New York phone number I was super excited.”

Kincaid was excited on social media when Bishop ran a 4.45-second 40-yard dash at this year’s combine. Bishop is explosive, and he showcases that with his aggressive style of play.

Bishop played on special teams all three years at Utah and blocked a field goal in 2021. His role on special teams shrunk as his snaps on defense swelled, but he said he always took special teams very seriously.

For a number of reasons, he clicked with the Bills.

“I feel like we had a really good bond,” Bishop said. “Some teams, like you can kind of just tell there’s not a fit. Some teams don’t seem as interested. Some teams you’re not as interested in. Buffalo was always a team that I liked. And then it seemed like they were interested in me obviously. So being able to talk to them a good bit. Their defensive schemes, they let their safeties do a lot.”

With as well as the meetings went, Bishop was optimistic about his chances with the Bills.

“I was always hoping that would be a possibility,” Bishop said. “So super awesome when I got that call.


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